Mile #9 Carla
Dx: Stage IV High Risk Neuroblastoma
On: January 22 1968 (my Dad’s 37th Birthday)
At: 8 1/2 Months of Age
I was diagnosed with Stage IV High Risk Neuroblastoma on January 22 1968 at just 8 1/2 Months of Age. On January 28 1968, I had surgery to remove my Right Kidney and a 2 1/2 pound tumor the size of big man’s fist. That was followed up with chemotherapy (which consisted of 250 INDIVIDUAL SHOTS given directly into the tops of both my hands) to dissolve what remained of the cancer on my Left Kidney and the outer lining of my stomach. I wasn’t expected to see in my 1st Birthday and though the odds were decidedly stacked against me, I came out on the swinging side of this journey. I’ve given my voice over to all of the kids & families who have to deal with the struggle against Childhood cancer! I carry the kids with me, I speak their names, I tell about their journeys and I refuse to allow them to ever be forgotten!! I will do whatever it takes to do my part so all the kids & families can not only have the same chances & opportunities in life that I’ve been given, but also so hopefully soon they have the same outcome as my family & I have had.
The photos in this collage are as follows:
~* Main photo – 2 Days shy of my 1st Birthday, 3 1/2 Months Post Dx
~* Inset photo - Post Shave April 16th 2018 finally meeting Tattoo Tom!! And there are definitely far too many reasons! (This photo had me still in my 50-50 Year, I was 50 Years 2 Months 25 Days Post Dx at 50 Years 11 Months 11 Days of Age - just 19 Days shy of marking my 51st Birthday.)
In 2019, by the time the Bigfoot 200: Part 4 begins, I’ll have marked and then moved right on by my 51-51 Year. On January 22nd 2019, I’ll mark being 51 Years post diagnosis while not even having celebrated my 52nd Birthday until 3 1/2 Months later on May 5th 2019. There isn’t a single day that goes by when I don’t think of everything that could have been, might have been, and because of the diagnosis I received as an infant can’t be; but I will never allow any of that to stop me or define me. I am a mover and a shaker; not just a human being, but also a human DOING.
As Robert Frost once wrote:
“The woods are lovely, dark and deep;
but I have promises to keep.
And miles to go before I sleep;
and miles to go before I sleep!”
I want you to know:
I’m right there with you, shoulder to shoulder and side by side every step of the way!!
I’m in this for the long haul!
Backing down, not a chance!
As for walking away, I wasn't walking upon diagnosis and I'm certainly not about to walk away now!
Thank you so very much for being you, for giving it all you’ve got (and then some) and for everything you & the Stillbrave Foundation do, Tattoo Tom my friend and renegade brother!!
Big heart hugs and #RockSolidRenegadeLove,